David Vaughan says the years he spent playing for Blackpool were ‘probably the best’ of his career.
The midfielder, who made 116 appearances in a tangerine shirt, returned to the club as a special guest on Saturday and was quick to reminisce.
Often an unsung hero in the middle of the park, Vaughan joined Blackpool from Real Sociedad in August 2008 and spent his first four months at Bloomfield Road under the management of returning boss Simon Grayson.
“I appreciate what he did for me at the time because it all worked out well for me at the club. I had three really good years at Blackpool and Simon was obviously the manager who signed me,” Vaughan said.
In the years that followed, the Wales international developed a strong understanding in the middle of the park alongside Keith Southern and Charlie Adam, with many a Blackpool fan hailing it one of the club’s greatest ever midfields.
“We all brought different qualities to the midfield, so the balance was really good,” he remarked. “We got to know each other’s games well and complemented each other well. It was good to play with them both.”
It was that Vaughan-Southern-Adam axis that helped the club achieve promotion to the Premier League almost 10 years ago.
“It still feels like yesterday. I still speak to quite a few of the lads because we’re a close group. I think that was a major factor in how well we did at the time (the togetherness). The journey we went on was special. Hopefully we can all meet up again in the near future.”
In the meantime, the 36-year-old is adjusting well to retirement, having opted to hang up his boots in the summer following a season at Notts County that ended in relegation.
“I’ve probably had six months or so to relax and spend a bit of time with the family. I haven’t missed it (playing) too much to be honest, especially after a disappointing season last season.
“The lower down you go, the harder it gets. I just found it more and more frustrating and couldn’t do what I used to be able to do. It was time to call it a day.
“I’m now doing my coaching badges at the minute, so hopefully I can find somewhere to continue with them and progress to the next stage in my career.”